Thank you! It's taken me a long time to get a grip on roadmaps and it's partly because there is no single "template" or recipe.

“That’s a great idea,” I remember telling a Ph.D. with deep expertise into human interaction who was working at the time in the innovation lab of a huge tech company. “I love it, but how are you going to get it onto the roadmap?”

If you ask enough UX people what it is the product manager has control over that they wish they had more say in, one thing you’ll hear about a lot is the roadmap. …

With it pretty well established that UX practitioners and product managers share many concerns and deploy adjacent proficiencies, this leads to a perennial struggle to define exactly who is responsible for what. There are as many schemes for divvying up the work as there are teams out there, often some variation on this formula:

  • The product manager is responsible for the “what.”
  • The UX designer is responsible for the “how.”

So, problem solved, right? Short chapter, eh?

But of course even if we agree on exactly what the “what” refers to versus the “how,” exactly how do we apply a…

Of all the things product managers do that UX people tend not to do, data analysis is perhaps the most alien to the design orientation. Even the business aspects can be framed and understood as solving problems, designing solutions that address competing needs, and so on. And of course many savvy UX researchers, strategist, and designers consume data intelligently, use it wisely to inform their processes, and recognize the value of combining quantitative insights with qualitative ones.

But… almost uniformly, even among the UX practitioners who embrace data analysis fully as a tool of their, there is very little appetite…

Remember how a product manager needs to be a kind of scientist? Perhaps a mad scientist at times if you dream big. But always grounded in evidence, taking care to measure things accurately.

Scientists learn everything they can about a subject and wonder about the parts nobody seems to have a clear answer for yet. They develop hypotheses. This is the creative part!

Towards the end of this year Rosenfeld Media will be publishing my book Product Management for UX People: From Designing to Thriving in a Product World (you may sign up there to be notified when it is…

While it’s not true that all designers get uncomfortable when the talk turns to money (budget constraints, the need for revenue, potentially seeing people as paying customers above all else), it’s fair to say that many UX designers are happy to have someone else (a “bean counter,” a “suit”) obsess about grubby stuff like money and find their comfort zone far away from the bazaar, and the cash register. Designing shopping carts, check-out flows, and credit card forms is about as close as most get and that’s plenty close enough, as these tasks rarely inspires flights of creativity.

Before I…

For many designers, business is a dirty word. It conjures up images of “suits” who don’t care about users — er, humans… no, people — the way you do, of bean counters, and of overseers cracking the whip and driving “death marches” to hit arbitrary dates and ship the requisite number of lines of code.

This isn’t fair, of course, and not only does it represent a barrier to overcome if you want to go down the product management career path, but any such aversion to the business side of software development can hamper your UX growth and development as…

A big part of the product manager’s job is providing engineers with everything they need to be productive. Sometimes the product manager feels their job is to tell the engineers what to do, but they quickly learn this is like trying to herd cats. Even with the best will in the world it’s just not the natural way of things.

Your job instead is to provide focus and direction and meaning and to make sure goals are clear, requests are well scoped, engineers are core participants in the conversation and ideation needed to craft solutions.

Towards the end of this…

There will always be some overlap between the concerns of product managers and UX professionals, and this can function as a healthy tension if addressed forthrightly or a wasteful turf battle if not.

Many UX designers look at this overlap and wonder really how different the two roles are, or need be. For those who are considering moving into a new role, this raises three important questions:

  • Which of my existing skills have equipped me (at least in part) to be a product manager (and will continue to be helpful to me in that new role)?
  • Which of my existing…

christian crumlish

Product leader, writing Product Management for UX Designers (Rosenfeld Media) and Growing Product People (Sense and Respond) — more xian

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